Vegan wallets? I get a lot of e-mail at work — mostly requests for coverage of an event or someone wanting to be mentioned in my Standing O column, or spam (not the canned variety).
The other day, I received one that touted quality vegan wallets — yes, quality vegan wallets. I queried this one too. What exactly does that mean?
Is the wallet made out of plastic or a similar man-made material?
Did the maker of the wallet not eat meat?
Or was the material ethically taken from a free-range cow that wanted to give of itself for the sake of fashion?
I jest — it is basically made from pleather, (a fancy name for vinyl) or natural fibers such as cotton or wool, (but only if the sheep are consenting).
I have nothing against vegans — some of my family and best friends are, and I sometimes go vegan for days at a time — but that is not what caught my attention. It was the price: $110 for one model!
Sorry but I have to do this. What?
We’re talking about $110 for a wallet composed of man-made or ethically gathered material that is 5–6 inches long and about 3–4 inches wide, with a zipper or two and a few compartments. You have got to be out of your mind!
You can go to any Dollar Tree store and pick one up made of the finest quality plastic or canvas for about $5 or $6 that will do the job just as well.
Why so expensive? And do the ethically correct folks know that man-made materials such as pleather destroy the environment with the chemicals used and the process (oil, lots of oil)? Or that sheep are not always cooperative about getting hair cuts? Sure if you give them a latte and have Paul Mitchell take a little off the bottom, shag it up a bit, and give them a nice fade, they might sit still for a bit, but generally a really big woolly ram ain’t gonna like the treatment.
I’ll admit many years ago, when I had a whole lot of disposable income (no kids, two salaries), I indulged in the latest fashion trends — namely Anne Klein purses made out of impregnated leather (a fancy name for plastic in the ’80s). I had one in every color, and paid upwards of $100 each. By the way, I still have two of them today. Those bags had at least leather trim — we lived in the age of plastic cards, big salaries, and no respect for the environment at all. Besides those bags lasted a whole lot longer then my Faded Glory jeans.
But $110 for a wallet?
Not for Nuthin™, I am all for the ethical treatment of animals, plants, and the environment, but let’s be real here, the materials used are readily available, not expensive, and certainly not worth the cost. In fact, all these designers need to tone down their prices, because as it stands right now, with the way our economy is going, the only people that can afford those prices are in the very exclusive 1 percent circle — and we all know, that circle is getting smaller every day.
Dollar Tree here I come.
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